Beer tax bills mount as state teases us to buy $4,000 brew kits?

ads-healthcaregov-hoembrewkit-alcoholTaxpayer Association of Oregon

Just as the Legislature looks as three early bills to raise local alcohol taxes (HB 2135, HB 2163, SB 12) at the same time your tax dollars are paying for slick television ads hinting that people should spend $4,000 on home brew kits. The ads are the Oregon’s ads. They explain that people can save $4,000 on their health insurance if they sign up on the government website. The ad shows all the things you can do with the $4,000 saying, “…it means you could save 1300 gallons of gas you don’t have to pump, it means you can buy the greatest home brew kit ever…” with compliment pictures.

Welcome to the twisted world of government reasoning.

1. Save while others suffer. Interesting that the ad says Oregonians will save $4,000 when the average Oregon premium went up 45% (Manhattan Institute. Nov. 2013).
2. You save because of taxpayer subsidies.  Some people will indeed save $4,000 thanks in part to giant taxpayer subsidies. When you factor these subsidies and enrollment costs it can cost as much as $5,500 for a new person to be enrolled.
3. State promoting tax evasion? The liberals are pushing for beer taxes and yet encouraging people to buy $4,000 home brew kits which will coincidentally evade traditional alcohol taxes.
4. It’s all about a beer tax money grab. The only reason these expensive government commercials are touting home brew kits is because drinking in Oregon is hugely popular and it has come because Oregonians have exercised great responsibility and care. That leaves only one conclusion we can learn from the drive to push new alcohol tax bills is more about the money and less about the need for it.

Lawmakers should junk these beer tax bills (HB 2135, HB 2163, SB 12).

(photo: Montage of 3 video stills from ads.)